Monday, July 14, 2014

Faith Precedes the Miracle!

E-mail from May 19, 2014

Transfer Scripture
Ether 12:12
"For if there be no faith among the children of men God can do no miracle among them; wherefore, he showed not himself until after their faith."

This week has been full of miracles! We reached more total lessons than I ever have before and the craziest/best thing happened over the last two days.

To begin with, this week we've been able to pick up some formers, we had Zone Conference and an investigator is getting baptized!

Zone Conference was mind blowing! President Connolly, one of our President's counselors gave a training on increasing developing faith that produces miracles like in the scriptures. Faith is a principle of power and he shared about the things that increase our faith like prayer and scripture study- the little things. But even more than that, he shared the different levels of faith based on a talk by Elder L. Whitney Clayton's talk, Help Thou Mine Unbelief, Oct. 2001. There is a maintenance level where we pray, study, are obedient, do our callings and do service.

The second level is an increasing level- pray more and more humbly, explore and search the scriptures, magnify callings more fully, being truly and exactly obedient to the commandments and the Holy Ghost, selfless and dedicated service, and sincere fasting (the adjectives make all the difference!).

The third level of faith is the Miracle Level. We act on impressions and promptings, obey all commandments cheerfully, go and do all things the Lord commands,(even when you are weary), completely trust the Lord, strive to act as Christ would in all situations, keep the eternal perspective, completely give oneself in service to the Lord.

President Cleveland also did a fantastic training the "Power Triangle"- faith, diligence, obedience and inspired goals which lead to inspired plans which lead to accountability.

I got to see so many missionaries that I love to pieces! Sister Odermott, Sister Sessions, Sister McKendrick, Elder Wallace and Elder Nyman! Love these kids! ;)

The biggest miracle of the week happened over Saturday and Sunday.  We had a lesson to our investigator on Saturday who is on date to be baptized May 24th (this weekend). We talked to him about everything we'd taught and his feelings on it and he seemed very excited, so we prepped him for the interview. Before we left his house, Sister Richardson warned him that Satan was going to work hard on him to convince him not to move forward. A little after we left he sent us a text saying that he didn't want to go through with the interview because of things that happened in the past that were more serious and that there was no need to visit him anymore. We were heartbroken.

There's nothing quite like having someone who has been enlightened and taught all of the missionary lessons and believes it with all their heart turn  around and say they can't move forward with the next step. The very thought that he would risk his salvation and accountability... That's what scared us the most. BUT we had faith that God would provide a miracle. We prayed so many times together and separately for him after that. We started fasting and continued praying that the Spirit would work on him and went on doing our best to work and see what we could do to help him.

Sunday we went to church and after Sunday School, he told Sister Richardson that he thought hard about it all and decided it would be worth it to move forward with the interview, even though he was worried about it.

It was such a relief and a joy to hear that he wanted to move forward and that he realized his fears were from Satan, but this isn't end of the miracle. Originally, the date of May 24th had been set about three months back before I even got here. The missionaries that set it felt very inspired about it and that he would make his date. Well, even with him deciding to move forward, we knew we would probably need to push the date back because he would need to get an interview a little higher up. We called President Connolly, who is the counselor over our section of the mission, to set up an interview with him. He told us that he was actually coming up to our area that very day for a meeting with our leadership, so we didn't even have to wait to do his interview! Our investigator went through the interview and was found ready in every way to be baptized!

There were so many miracles this week- Zone Conference played a huge part in that! In our trainings, we were encouraged to warn our investigators that Satan would work hard on them when they are presented with the truth and opportunities to act on that truth. We were trained in exercising our faith and expecting that God truly will provide those miracles for the people we work with. We learned about diligence, which played a huge part in our ability to fast and pray and keep going even when we felt like we couldn't anymore.

This work is inspired... I can't even begin to express how grateful I am that I get to be a part of this.

I love you all! I hope this might inspire you to act on the faith that you already have, to increase it until it reaches the height that we read of in the scriptures and to trust that God has a plan that is greater than us all. When we need a miracle, He will provide when we do all that we are capable of.

Have a fantastic week!

Sister Ruth

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